Thursday, March 4, 2010

OPINION: One Guy Picks the Best Chicks' Songs of All Times - In No Particular Order

By Jim Sutherland

We live in a world of flavor of the week entertainers; a McDonald's of music if you will. Sure you get something to eat, but is it really any different from every other McDonald's on the planet? And will you remember a Big Mac moment in another 30 seconds? I thought so.

Anyhow, I want to discuss a few female singers that had songs with a much longer shelf life than Brittany Spears or Miley Cyrus on my playlist. I'll be honest here, I haven't actually listened to Miley to the best of my knowledge, but it would be difficult to tell her from the generic sound of any current pop artist outside of Amy Winehouse. Amy will definitely make my next list of great female vocalists.

The first song that grabbed my attention was "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett. Gale was a pioneer in the 60s philosophy of casual relationships and her song was a reflection of the change during that decade. Singing in the sunshine had a whole different meaning for Garnett and her unique vocal qualities gave the song a powerful message.

A few years later, Merillee Rush hit the airwaves with "Angel of the Morning", another 60s song that reflected a brief romance with no strings attached. Actually even less strings than Garnett's one year plan in "We'll Sing in the Sunshine". Merillee Rush had a 24 hour romance in mind and her powerful vocals carried her message into the stratosphere.

Right around this time Lulu had her best song on the radio with "Morning Dew". Lulu had a very unusual vocal style and this song played to the strength of her abilities.

The end of the 60s produced a one-hit wonder from a group called Smith that did a cover of "Baby It's You". The lead female vocalist's style was reminiscent of Janis Joplin, but with a little smoother sound.

I have to include "It's Too Late" by Carole King on my list. King's 'Tapestry' is the ultimate album for women, based upon sales since its release. "It's Too Late" is about the death of a relationship and few have done it better in song than Carole.

"Anticipation" by Carly Simon was a great song that dealt with a message to live in the moment because, as Carly stated in song, " these are the good old days". Again her powerful vocals made this song a winner.
" Long Long Time" was a classic by famous torch singer Linda Ronstadt. Basically it was an unrequited love song by Linda, but she hits a range of vocals in the song reserved for truly gifted musicians.

"Because the Night" by Patty Smith is a visceral heat of the moment burner that will grab listeners in a hormonal grip and not let go until it's over. You will need a cold shower or a cigarette after this song.

I tried to achieve the impossible: There are too many great female vocalist songs to cover in one column. I needed to make a much longer list.

Jim Sutherland is a co-founder of to the average guy in the old car world.
We also like to take on non-car issues on a regular basis on our daily blog because it makes us look a lot smarter than we really are.Plus you can insult a car guy about his taste in music or movies but never hack on his car-those guys always have tire irons handy.

It's fun, it's occasionally controversial and it draws women into the site - we're like an automotive beer commercial we need the women in the picture to make it interesting. But we're still going to talk about 57 Chevys and vintage Mustangs.

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